Fitbit steps question

Options
I have an old Fitbit HR that counts car movement as steps. I'm thinking of getting a charge 4 to replace it. However I don't want to get one if it also counts movement while driving as steps! So does anyone with one know if yours does this or not? Thanks

Replies

  • PAV8888
    PAV8888 Posts: 13,723 Member
    edited August 2020
    Options
    My Fitbit HR, Charge 2, and Charge 3 have regularly counted SOME hand waving and keyboard typing, and car driving steps and under-counted some shopping cart pushing and very fast walking and very soft walking or less than 12-15 steps at a time in the house walking steps.

    And in spite of all these errors, consistently time and again, over months and over years Fitbit TDEE estimates and my results have been within a few percentage points. Let's just say that restaurant food logging is way more variable than Fitbit activity logging, at least for me.

    Are the extra steps your HR counts really affecting anything? Is your Fitbit providing a closer indication of your general activity level than your selection of one of the four activity levels MFP offers as a choice?

    (you can always login to your fitbit page and enter a car riding activity at BMR calories. however I note that car driving and riding are NOT actually 1.0x BMR activities. The compendium of physical activities lists them at >1.3 MET going from memory. So is the occasional step really introducing an error? :neutral: )
  • Pickcupcakes
    Pickcupcakes Posts: 9 Member
    Options
    It's giving me about 1000 extra steps for a half hour car ride. I do a fair bit of driving so it soon adds up. For e everything else it seems pretty accurate. If I'm sitting and wave my arm around it doesn't count that as steps.
  • heybales
    heybales Posts: 18,842 Member
    Options
    It's giving me about 1000 extra steps for a half hour car ride. I do a fair bit of driving so it soon adds up. For e everything else it seems pretty accurate. If I'm sitting and wave my arm around it doesn't count that as steps.

    You can create an Activity Record for that chunk of time.
    Use your 24 hr graph to get start and end times for a drive.

    Now look at the activity details.
    You know the steps it sounds like.
    How many miles?
    How many calories?

    Be aware that calorie count is total during the chunk of time - it includes BMR, perhaps approaching 100 per hr for you.
    How many extra calories was really extra now?
    For what period of time?
  • Pickcupcakes
    Pickcupcakes Posts: 9 Member
    Options
    I never thought about creating an activity record for that time. Thanks
    I was more wanting to know if anyone else had the same issue with the charge 4?
  • Maxematics
    Maxematics Posts: 2,287 Member
    Options
    I know this isn't what you asked but as someone who has used Fitbit for many years and had a Charge 4, I want to issue caution against it. I actually preordered it back in April and noticed within a week of receiving it, there was a rather noticeable gap between the Fitbit pebble and the band. Since it was simply cosmetic, I didn't care and kept using it. Once in a while debris would get caught in the gaps but I always kept it clean.

    After 2.5 months, while jogging, it randomly flew off my wrist; not only did the band break off the pebble but it took the plastic connector with it. I had to send it back to get a replacement and that took a month. I just got it back a few weeks ago and, within a day, the gap issue occurred again. It's a known issue all over their forums; pages upon pages of people returning it due to the issue.

    I actually took advantage of their recent Back to School sale and "downgraded" back to an Inspire HR which is what I had before but I gave it away when I got the Charge 4. It's an upgrade in my opinion, as many of the Charge 4's advertised features weren't ready on launch and the built-in GPS has several issues.

    If you only care about steps and HR, I'd go with an Inspire HR or the Charge 3. The Charge 4 isn't worth the price point and I say this as someone who has always been a Fitbit fan and have praised their devices on this forum.
  • hipari
    hipari Posts: 1,367 Member
    Options
    I've had Charge HR, Alta HR and now Inspire HR. The Charge HR counted standing in an upwards escalator as climbing floors, which messed up my stats as I use the subway for commuting and my station is 5 long escalator flights underground. With Alta HR I never noticed activities like this, at least not regular enough for me to pay attention.

    I now have the Inspire HR, and the only auto-track oddity I've noticed is if I try on a lot of clothes (when cleaning up my wardrobe), it thinks I'm swimming. It kinda makes sense since I'm trying on heaps and heaps of clothes and waving my arms in a swim-like motion to get in and out of them.

    I'm still in the same camp as Pav, the overall calorie burn estimate is close enough to reality for me to not actually care about these occasional errors.
  • LunaTheFatCat
    LunaTheFatCat Posts: 237 Member
    Options
    I have had Fitbits for year (my current one is a Versa Lite) and I can honestly say I never noticed extra steps for car rides.
  • nanastaci2020
    nanastaci2020 Posts: 1,072 Member
    Options
    I don't have this problem typically but every now and then my Fitbit will randomly give me lots of steps, such as when I was sleeping. There is a trick I read on a Fitbit group forum once. Go into the Fitbit app, where you can enter exercise, and see if there is an 'exercise' called Driving. Put the start/end times and assign it to Driving: and it will know you were driving during that time and not moving/exercising.

    Temp fix, not something you want to do all the time of course. I imagine the issue you're having is due to road vibrations or such your arm/wrist is moving enough that the device thinks you are walking. Another device may not track that movement, but there is no guarantee. If you have a friend who has a different model, see if you can borrow theirs for a ride to test it?
  • Jacq_qui
    Jacq_qui Posts: 429 Member
    Options
    I had this with an old garmin tracker. I used to take it off for driving, not ideal.
  • Maxematics
    Maxematics Posts: 2,287 Member
    Options
    Just an update for you. I just received an early release email that Fitbit is coming out with three new devices, Fitbit Sense, Versa 3, and Inspire 2. I'd skip the Charge 4 and buy the Inspire 2.
  • ChickenKillerPuppy
    ChickenKillerPuppy Posts: 297 Member
    Options
    My fitbit definitely counts hand waving and some movement it shouldn't, but overall I have been able to rely on the data and use it to make my goals and lose weight. I do not drive, though (and am almost never in a car).
  • ChickenKillerPuppy
    ChickenKillerPuppy Posts: 297 Member
    Options
    I meant to add I have an Alta
  • Pickcupcakes
    Pickcupcakes Posts: 9 Member
    Options
    Thanks everyone for the replies. Sounds like I will need to enter driving as an activity and look at some different trackers
  • heybales
    heybales Posts: 18,842 Member
    Options
    Depending on how much time you are talking about driving - the reason why I suggested making an activity and even seeing how many calories is involved, is because past tests people have done have show all of an extra 50 calories in an hour.

    12 hr over-the road trucker that's meaningful.

    1 hr commute daily it's not.

    More inaccuracy in a meal's worth of nutrition label allowed inflation.

    Just to say - if you check it out - it may not be worth worrying about.
  • Pickcupcakes
    Pickcupcakes Posts: 9 Member
    Options
    Thanks heybales. My job involves driving for about 50% of my work day so it adds up quickly!
  • heybales
    heybales Posts: 18,842 Member
    edited August 2020
    Options
    Yep, that's worth dealing with.

    There was also an app that integrated with Fitbit where you just hit start and stop for driving - it sent the correct workout to Fitbit to replace the bogus info there.

    Don't recall because I never had to use it but others commented on it, but it must be in Fitbit's list of integrated partners.